Happy Pi Day: 12 of the best pies in the Twin Cities area

Pi Day is celebrated each March 14 in honor of the mathematical constant — and as an excuse to indulge in all the sweet and flaky scrumptiousness that is a great pie. (Nevermind that pie has its own day; National Pie Day is Jan. 23.) But pie deserves more than one day of celebration. Whether you’re shopping for some to bring home or looking for a casual corner shop to enjoy a slice, here are our picks for the best places for pie around the Twin Cities any day of the year.

Bakery Pies

Honey & Rye Bakehouse: The care and quality of a pie begins with the crust, and the buttery one holding all the goods at this St. Louis Park bakery tastes like love. Order a whole pie ($30) or a slice ($4) for same-day pickup and enjoy the flavor of the day, or place a special order in advance for Key lime, chocolate coconut cream, blueberry streusel or salted banana caramel cream pies. 4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, honey-and-rye.com

Black Walnut Bakery: Pastry chef Sarah Botcher’s bakery was borne from her culinary training and a desire to build her own business. She started out selling pastries from a small table at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and quickly grew a passionate following. Inside her sunny Minneapolis shop, the lemon tarts (which are definitely adjacent pie, if not technically pies) are filled with springy-tart curd ($5.25). Meanwhile, her banana cream pie ($6) is down home cream and crust. 3157 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., blackwalnutbakery.com

Sarah Jane’s Bakery: This neighborhood bakery is ground zero for great Midwestern pie. There are all kinds of classic flavors to choose from, such as apple, cherry, berries and French silk ($15.50-18.50). Order ahead and don’t be shy about grabbing a couple of donuts for the drive home. 2853 NE. Johnson St., Mpls., sarahjanesbakery.com

Tea Buttered Tin: There are two locations of this lively cafe owned by pastry chef Alicia Hinze, both with drool-worthy pastry cases. But the pies are so fun to order in advance. Get one that’s frozen to save for a later date, or pick up a freshly baked one ($34.04). Flavors run the gamut from French apple and peach bourbon to lemon meringue and one that’s flavored like toasty s’mores. 237 E. 7th St., St. Paul; 2445 NE. Marshall St., Mpls.; thebutteredtin.com

Pie restaurant

Myriel: Karyn Tomlinson’s Highland Park restaurant seems like the perfect date-night destination, a place worthy of fancy shoes. But tucked into the dessert menu is pure Midwestern comfort. Her pie crust is so dialed in that it’s rumored that it clinched her win at the 2018 Grand Cochon, the national whole-heritage-hog cooking competition (one of her entries was Lard and Apple Pie). 470 Cleveland Ave., St. Paul, myrielmn.com

Hot Hands Pie & Cookie: The cafe bakes up biscuits and pie — both acceptable breakfast foods — as a tribute to the buttery floured arts. You could bring a slice home for dessert, but grabbing a slice ($5) inside Tara Coleman’s cute shop is an ideal way to start an otherwise unremarkable weekday. Hot Hands also thrives on variety. There are fantastic savory potpies to take home ($12.95) and pie shakes ($8.50) for a leveled-up sweet treat. 272 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, hothandspie.com

Breaking Bread Cafe: This neighborhood weekend cafe is a welcome way to either kick off the day or break it up midday. But no visit is complete without a slice of sweet potato pie. Its silky texture and pure comfort flavor must have been what was in mind when the phrase “sweet as pie” was coined. Poured into a flaky crust, it’s worth a trip over there if it’s been a minute since you’ve been. 1210 Broadway Ave. W., Mpls., breakingbreadfoods.com

Hi Lo Having dinner: You can’t properly enjoy the steeped nostalgia of this historic diner without saving room for a slice of pie and a cup of hot black coffee. Try the black bottom banana cream pie ($6): smashed chocolate cookies provide a crunchy basin for the sweet cream of rich banana flavor, with a thick layer of rich ganache keeping the creamy bits creamy and the crust nice and crunchy. It’s all topped off with a swirl of whipped cream. 4020 E. Lake St., Mpls., hi-lo-diner.com

revival: This popular fried chicken restaurant, with locations in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and St. Paul, has a banana cream pie that’s legendary. Chef Thomas Boemer’s recipe is packed with bananas underneath a mountain of ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream ($6.) 4257 Nicollet Av., Mpls.; 8028 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park; 525 Selby Ave., St. Paul; revivalrestaurants.com

Key West Bistro: Proper Key lime pie is a ticket to a more tropical climate. Inside this brightly colored restaurant dedicated to the fun and flavors of Key West, it’s mandatory that Key lime pie be on the menu. The tangy and particular tartness from the tiny citrus shines through like a blast of sun and ocean spray on a hot and humid day. 2803 E. 38th St., Mpls., keywestbistro.com

Shop pies

Magpie & Mighty: Ordering or buying a slice from Rachel Swan’s sweet little shop is a bit of an adventure. It’s a purposely small operation and the number of pies made each week is capped. Fans vie for the opportunity to buy a pie in the lottery, available through a weekly newsletter. Or roll the dice and stand in line on Fridays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 9 am-noon to buy a slice or three and chat with some of the nicest pie fans this side of a church social. 3553 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls., pieandmightymsp.com

Heather’s Pies: Heather Asbury’s pies are almost too gorgeous to eat — almost. Her buttery crusts hold all kinds of flavorful ingredients and have the polish of a five-star dining experience. There’s no physical shop, so order online. Asbury has everything from basics like apple or blueberry (from $36) to giant slab pies for a crowd ($58). For something extra special, order a pie gram with a special, custom message written into the crust ($52). heatherspies.com

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